Giovanni Pernice says Strictly professionals 'always' wanted to impress Len Goodman

Len Goodman was the one to impress on Strictly credit:Bang Showbiz
Len Goodman was the one to impress on Strictly credit:Bang Showbiz

Giovanni Pernice admits 'Strictly Come Dancing' professionals "always" wanted to “please” Len Goodman.

The 32-year-old dancer revealed that everyone partnered up with celebrities on the star-studded BBC Latin and ballroom competition wanted to dance their way into the former head judge’s good books - a position now held by Shirley Ballas - before he passed away last month aged 78.

Giovanni told OK! magazine: "My memory of Len Goodman is the same one as everybody has, a legend.

"I was lucky enough to be able to do a couple of seasons when he was a judge, and his judgement was always exciting for us."

"We want to please Len, we always want to please Len and we have to listen because Len obviously, is the legend himself."

He added that the former ‘Dancing With the Stars’ judge’s death was “sad, sad news” for everyone who works on ‘Strictly’ when it was announced by his family.

At the time, rep for Len said: "It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78.

"A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him."

Tributes poured out from his co-stars, including 'Strictly' host Claudia Winkleman.

The 51-year-old presenter said on Twitter: "I’m so sad about Len. He was one of a kind, a brilliant and kind man. Full of twinkle, warmth and wit. Sending all love to his family and friends. X."

Fellow judge Craig Revel-Horwood, 58, added: "I’ve just woken up to the sad news that my gorgeous colleague and dear friend Len Goodman has passed away.

"My heart and love go out to his lovely Sue and family. Len Goody Goodman is what I always called him and ‘It’s a ten from Len seveeeeern’ will live with me forever. RIP Len."

Former 'Strictly' pro Brendan Cole, 47, offered his own tribute, telling ‘This Morning’: "I think it's sad for the entire nation and of course for his children and grandchildren. Obviously, he's only just retired to spend more time with his grandchildren and we've sadly lost him.

"As a personality, Len was massive, not just as a TV judge but as a person. A lovely man, with a bite, which I love. It's very sad. It's a part of TV history, the ultimate judge, he knew exactly what to say.”